The Federal Parliament at TBS “Old Racecourse” c1960

From Idea….to completion…….

Lagos: In 1859 Oba Dosunmu provided the land we know today as Tafawa Balewa Square “TBS” to colonial authorities and it was used as a sporting field – The Lagos Race Course.

The Lagos Race Course was a horse race track and it also included a section for football and grounds to play cricket.


At independence in 1960, Nigeria adopted a parliamentary system of government mirroring that of its former coloniser, the United Kingdom.

The Governor-General, who served as the representative of the Queen and the Head of State, appointed the Prime Minister (Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa) as the Head of Government, and his cabinet from among members of the legislature.

Group picture of some of the guests at the laying of the stone at the parliament building ;

In the photo is Minister of Labour, Chief Modupe Johnson, Bishop of Lagos, A. W Howells, Oba Adeniji Adele, Oba of Lagos, Aja Nwachukwu Minister of Education and Minister of Aviation, Raymond Njoku .

In 1963, Nigeria severed ties with the British Monarchy and created the position of President as the Head of State ( Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe)

In 1979, Nigeria abolished the parliamentary system of government in favor of a presidential system of government.

The old parliamentary building was later used as the National Assembly building during the defunct Second Republic (1979 – 1983)


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